It’s business as usual in Mosul says IS hostage

John Cantlie tours Mosul and visits a market, a hospital and police station in a propaganda video released by the Islamic State. Picture: PA
John Cantlie tours Mosul and visits a market, a hospital and police station in a propaganda video released by the Islamic State. Picture: PA
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AN EIGHTH propaganda video of British hostage John Cantlie giving a tour of the Iraqi city Mosul has been released by the Islamic State (IS).

The photojournalist presents the documentary-style clip in English, claiming that “life in Mosul is business as usual” and that media reports suggesting the city is “depressed” and “living in fear” are “misleading”.

The country’s second-largest city was captured by IS militants in June when they murdered more than 2,000 Shiite prisoners and soldiers, according to Human Rights Watch.

The eight-minute video, which sees 43-year-old Mr Cantlie visit a market, a hospital and a police station, purports to paint life in the city as stable.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the release of another video and are studying its contents.”

In the video, Mr Cantlie says: “The media likes to paint a picture of life in the Islamic State as depressed, people walking around as subjugated citizens in chains, beaten down by strict, ­totalitarian rule.

“But really, apart from some rather chilly but very sunny December weather, life here in Mosul is business as usual.”

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The hostage has been held captive for more than two years by IS militants. In previous ­instalments he has delivered his message under duress from ­behind a desk and wearing an orange jumpsuit.

The last video of the photojournalist, released in November, saw him give an account of what he claims was a failed rescue ­attempt by American forces in July.

In it Mr Cantlie said he accepted “long ago” that his fate is “overwhelmingly likely” to be the same as other captives.

Other footage released by the group in October purported to show him in the embattled Syrian city of Kobane.

Mr Cantlie’s father, Paul, 80, died from complications following pneumonia last year.

His sister, Jessica Cantlie, has previously appealed for “direct contact” with the militants holding him.

Since August, IS has filmed and posted online the deaths of four Western hostages.

UK aid workers Alan Henning, from Salford, and David Haines, from Perth, and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were beheaded on camera by the jihadi organisation, which is also known as Isis or Isil.

Last month, Mr Haines’ brother Mike vowed to carry on David’s humanitarian work and said he has been travelling around the UK to meet people with other beliefs.

His journey featured on a Songs Of Praise television programme in which he visited the Bradford Central Mosque and extended the hand of friendship to worshippers attending prayers there.

Joined on the BBC programme by the Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Toby Howarth, he said: ­“David was always there for me and I was always there for him. Apart from being brothers we had a good friendship as well.

“David spent his life serving others and it’s this legacy that I want to continue.

“It’s important for my family and I that David isn’t remembered for his brutal murder but for the good works that he did. He went to places to help people, no matter faith, creed or background.”

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